West Ham are in a bargain £17million battle with Newcastle for versatile Ligue 1 attacker Ludovic Blas, a report has claimed.
Both Premier League clubs are in the market for reinforcements up top this summer as they look to bankroll their respective lofty ambitions. The Hammers will have to be more careful with their spending than the richest club in the world.
The 24-year-old has a number of attractive features about him. He can play anywhere across midfield for starters.
And he has a knack for finding the back of the net. So far this season he has scored 12 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for Nantes.
What’s more, the report claims he will be available for just €20m (£17m) this summer.
His contract expires in the summer of 2024, so his French owners may be inclined to sell him come the end of the season.
In fact, Blas was reported to be in talks with Newcastle over a move in the January transfer window.
Nothing came of their interest at that time, but he remained on their radar. And now West Ham have joined them in the fight.
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It’s anticipated other Prem clubs will begin to look at the former France under-20 international as well.
Watford had expressed an interest earlier this season. But their position in the table put him off, and they still look to be heading for the Championship.
Blas, who also holds Martinique citizenship, is yet to make a senior appearance for his national team. He started out at Guingamp before making a £7.2m switch to Nantes in 2019.
West Ham could get second bargain
Meanwhile, another target of both West Ham and Newcastle, Joe Gomez, would also be a bargain at his asking price being touted by Liverpool.
That’s the view of pundit Noel Whelan, who believes a reported £23m figure is “not a lot of money” for someone like Gomez.
He told Football Insider: “We’ve seen how dominant he can be for Liverpool. He’s got tough competition right now and he’s been out injured as well, which hasn’t helped.
“But I think when you’re looking at bolstering at the back, he’s somebody that knows the Premier League. He’s British, still young, £23million.
“There will be certain teams across Europe looking and thinking: ‘£23million? Wow, absolutely. Why not? We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain’.”